At Seattle Humane, we strive to facilitate loving and meaningful relationships between people and their pets. That’s why we make our library of resources available to you. When you’re equipped for success as a pet owner, you and your pet will be happier.
Look below for articles and resources about pet care and behavior. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, and your search is not urgent, please contact us. We love to help!
Feral cats look like regular house cats because they were raised by lost or abandoned pets. They are afraid of people because they were raised entirely without human contact.
Although we support the effort to prevent animal cruelty, Seattle Humane is not authorized to investigate cases by state law. We can, however, offer you some guidance on what to do.
Going on vacation? Your companion animal can be a great travel companion on a trip. Preparing to move? Your furry friend will acclimate to a new home if he is with you. You will need to do some planning ahead to make it a safe journey for you and your four legged family members. Buckle… Read more
Preparing for a vacation can be a stressful time, and if you can’t take your pet with you, it’s just one more thing to worry about. Finding a place for your pet to stay is an important step in preparing for your vacation and if you aren’t able to find a pet sitter or family… Read more
The holidays can be an exciting time with people visiting, lots of packages, lights, music, trees, wonderful smells from the kitchen, and days getting busier and busier. To ease your pet’s stress, it’s important to try to keep their routine as close to the same as possible. Of course we want to include our furry… Read more
Seattle Humane would like to remind pet owners to keep their furry friends safe during the hot weather season. Going for a long drive with your best friend is one of the joys of summer. Just remember that even in Seattle, the interior of a car cat hit 160 degrees in less than five minutes… Read more
Copyright American Animal Hospital Association. All rights reserved. Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever before. However with this increased lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict senior pets. As pets reach the golden years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they… Read more
Copyright American Animal Hospital Association. All rights reserved. The signs may be hard to spot at first: your gray-in-the-muzzle Labrador retriever takes a little longer to get up in the morning, or your fuzzy Persian doesn’t jump as high as she used to. As time goes on, it becomes more and more clear that your… Read more
Copyright American Animal Hospital Association. All rights reserved. Cataracts are one of the most common eye problems affecting pets. They can affect all breeds and ages of dogs and cats, but the condition is found more commonly in certain dog breeds, such as Cockers, Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers and Terriers. The normal, transparent lens in the… Read more
Dogs are a part of the family and should be included in the daily routine, which revolves around a life indoors. Our furry family members are social beings and are most comfortable around their people. This is why Seattle Humane advocates for dogs to be primarily indoor companions with time outside for potty breaks, exercise… Read more
If we are going to understand dog behavior, then it is important to understand the history behind the domestic dog. Remember that domestication of dogs is a relatively recent event in the grand scheme of their existence. Wild canines have been around for millions of years but have only lived with us a few thousand… Read more
House training is necessary whether you adopt a puppy or an adult dog. A puppy hasn’t been taught the essentials – and an adult dog may not have been trained or will need a refresher course with a new family, home and routine. Establish a routine and stick to it (even on the weekends). If… Read more
Ever notice when your dog lays down under a table or curls up in a corner or under your legs when you prop your feet up to relax? That is the natural denning instinct in action. In the wild, dogs used sheltered and secured places to raise their litters. Dens provided protection from aggressors and… Read more
Barking is a natural behavior of dogs. Almost all dogs bark, and some bark more than others depending on individual tendencies, learned behavior, and breed type (for example, Shetland Sheepdogs “Shelties” bark as part of their herding behavior, so it is a behavior that people have selectively bred them to achieve). In order to reduce… Read more
Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit behavior problems when they’re left alone. Typically, they’ll have a dramatic anxiety response within a short time (20 – 45 minutes) after their owners leave them. The most common of these behaviors are: Digging, chewing and scratching at doors or windows in an attempt to escape and reunite with their… Read more
Submissive Urination Submissive urination occurs when a dog feels threatened. It may occur when he’s being punished or verbally scolded, or when he’s approached by someone he perceives to be threatening to him. It’s important to remember that this response is based on the dog’s perception of a threat, not the person’s actual intention. Submissive… Read more
Dogs in the wild — our canine family members’ ancestors — learned to guard their food, dens and pups. Today, when our canine companions display their natural and normal instinctual guarding, we label the behavior resource guarding. Because it is instinctual, we say that it is hardwired into dogs to be protective and possessive of… Read more
“Safe” Toys There are many factors that contribute to the safety or danger of a toy. Many of those factors, however, are completely dependent upon your dog’s size, activity level and play style. Although we cannot guarantee your dog’s enthusiasm or his safety with any specific toy, we can offer the following guidelines. Safety First… Read more
Game 1: Round Robin Come to Me Two or more people sit in a circle on the floor or in chairs about ten feet apart from each other. One person calls your dog. When she turns toward the person calling her that person gives her lots of praise and encouragement to come and gives her… Read more
Although feeding time is important, it’s also vital to include petting, talking and playing, in order to help your puppy build good “people-skills.” Well-socialized mothers are more likely to have well-socialized puppies. Puppies “feed” off of their mothers’ calm or fearful attitude toward people. Puppies are usually weaned at six or seven weeks, but are… Read more
Housetraining a puppy requires time, vigilance, patience and commitment. Following the procedures outlined below, you can minimize house soiling incidents, but virtually every puppy will have an accident in the house (more likely several). Expect this – it’s part of raising a puppy. The more consistent you are in following the basic housetraining procedures, the… Read more
Dogs are highly social animals and have intricate systems of communication and conflict resolution. This includes fighting with members of their own “pack” and species. By playing with other dogs and puppies, dogs learn to inhibit the force of their jaws so that if they do bite another dog, the bite will not do serious damage.… Read more
Having a new puppy in your home is lots of fun and lots of work, too. We often foster young litters of orphaned puppies and also puppies that have their mothers. Pups start to explore their world as soon as their eyes are open. They venture from their safe, warm nest into the surrounding area.… Read more
As your dog ages, the likelihood he will develop various changes in the function of his body systems increases. Some of these will be normal changes due to the aging process, others may be indicative of disease. To be more easily alerted to possible signs of disease early in the disease process: Monitor food consumption:… Read more
If you want your cat to live a long and healthy life, keep her inside. If you allow your cat to wander around on her own, without your supervision, she is susceptible to any of the following tragedies: Becoming hit by a car Ingesting a deadly poison like antifreeze, a pesticide, or poisoned mice. •Becoming… Read more
Most cats have a specific preference about where they want to eliminate. By following the suggestions outlined in this handout, you’ll be able to start off on the right foot with your new cat. Location Most people are inclined to place the litterbox in an out-of-the-way spot in order to minimize odor and loose particles… Read more
Cats that come from hoarding situations have spent most of their lives with other cats and many times have had very little contact with people. They can be fearful in new situations, especially when meeting new people and are usually not use to a litter box or carrier. However with time, patience, and positive reinforcement… Read more
To remove the dead outer layer of their claws. To mark their territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent – they have scent glands on their paws. To stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws. To work off energy. Because scratching is a normal behavior, and even declawed cats go… Read more
When cats feel threatened, they usually respond in three ways to the object, person, or situation they perceive as a threat: fight, flee, or freeze. Some cats become so frightened they lose control of their bladder or bowels and eliminate right where they are. Each cat has his/her preferred way of dealing with a crisis.… Read more
I. Make Your Cat Work For His Food: This can be very stimulating for cats and help reduce stress. Instead of just putting dry food in a bowl you can put the food inside a toy that allows your cat to think, play, and move. Here are some ideas: Treat balls: These toys can be… Read more
It’s important to have realistic expectations when introducing a new pet to a resident pet. Some cats are more social than other cats. For example, an eight-year-old cat that has never been around other animals may never learn to share her territory (and her people) with other pets in the household. However, an eight-week-old kitten… Read more
It is impossible to estimate how well any particular pair or group of cats will ultimately tolerate each other. Some cats are unusually territorial, and may never adjust to sharing their house, doing best in a one-cat family; while other cats can live well together in a multi-cat family. The factors that determine how well… Read more
Cat owners sometimes have difficulty understanding why their cats, who seem to be friendly and content one minute, may suddenly bite and scratch them the next. While overstimulation isn’t aggression, the response may appear aggressive. Cat owners however can find some relief, knowing that this behavior is normal and is both easy to manage and/or… Read more
While pet owners would never consider withholding food or water from their cats, many forget to provide adequate exercise and stimulation. Yes, cats do sleep a lot, but play is an important component of any pet’s health and well- being. The release of energy triggered by regular daily interactive play sessions can help alleviate stress… Read more
Cats tend to have surface and location preferences for where, and on what, they like to eliminate. Most cats prefer a loose, sandy substance, which is why they will use a litter box. It’s only when their preferences include the laundry basket, the bed, or the Persian rug, that normal elimination behavior becomes a problem.… Read more
It is not uncommon for cat owners to experience situations where their cats wake them up during the night by meowing, scratching at the door, or knocking things off shelves and counter tops. Reasons why: • Cats are crepuscular, which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk. However, some house cats that… Read more
Well-socialized cats are more likely to have well-socialized kittens. Kittens “feed” off of their mothers’ calm or fearful attitude toward people. Although feeding time is important, it’s also vital to include petting, talking and playing in order to build good “people-skills” in your kitten. Kittens are usually weaned at six or seven weeks, but may… Read more
Submissive Urination Play-motivated aggressive behaviors are common in young, active cats less than two years of age, and in cats that live in one-cat households. When cats play they incorporate a variety of behaviors into their play, such as exploratory, investigative and predatory behaviors. Play provides young cats with opportunities to practice skills they would… Read more
Submissive Urination It’s not unusual to see a well-cared for cat live to be 18 or older, meaning we have lots of time and love to share with our feline companions. However, just like human needs change as we age, so do cats’ needs. The following tips will help make your cat comfortable as he… Read more
As your cat ages, the likelihood she will develop various changes in the function of her body systems increases. Some of these will be normal changes due to the aging process, others may be indicative of disease. To be more easily alerted to possible signs of disease early in the disease process, it is advisable… Read more
On March 23, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued an Executive Order directing all residents to immediately heed current state public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors to protect the health and well-being of all Washingtonians.
Seattle Humane’s lifesaving operations fall within the Healthcare and Public Health sector profile of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” list that was designated according to the Executive Order.
The shelter closed to the public in March, and that closure has been extended until further notice. Learn more here.
We remain committed to monitoring COVID-19 developments and following guidance from Washington State Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to stay on top of best practices around social distancing, cleaning protocols, and other recommended disease prevention measures during these unprecedented times.
“Seattle Humane is committed to doing its part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, while also fulfilling our mission of saving lives and completing families,” said Interim Chief Executive Officer Paula Littlewood. “We will be looking at our current operation procedures and determining how best to connect our deserving shelter pets with loving families without exacerbating a public health situation. In the interim, our talented and dedicated staff and volunteers continue to provide exceptional care to all of our animals, whether they are here at our shelter or in one of our foster homes.”
Pet owners in King County are required to purchase pet licenses. Although Seattle Humane does not sell pet licenses, we are happy to point you in the right direction.
You can help the pets in communities dealing with natural disasters through Seattle Humane. We’re also here to care for your pets in the event of a disaster.